The creation of engineered replacements for damaged tissues is of critical importance to the future of medicine. The ability to design biocompatible materials and to understand cellular and physiological mechanics makes possible the construction of engineered scaffolds for cells. These tissue-engineered constructs are designed to promote desirable cell behavior, leading to enhanced effectiveness inside the body and, potentially, remodeling of the implant into healthy tissue without rejection issues. Stem cells have tremendous potential as a source for engineered tissues and as cell therapies, and control over stem cell differentiation is a frontier in this area.
While any student who graduates with the medical school prerequisites may apply to medical school, most of our pre-med undergraduates find that the Cell & Tissue Engineering concentration is the best fit for their goals. Pre-med students particularly interested in radiography, radiotherapy, or medical imaging in general should also consider the Biomedical Imaging concentration.
Biomedical Devices focus on the development of new biomedical technology for life science research and advanced health care. This concentration provides training in fundamental aspects of cell biology and physiology in addition to traditional areas of mechanical and electrical engineering as applied to biotechnology and medical devices. Students will have the opportunity to take advanced courses that include medical instrumentation, drug delivery systems, biosensors, microfluidic devices, biophotonics, biologically inspired devices & systems, biomedical monitoring with wireless communications, biomolecular/cellular analysis lab-on-a-chip, and bionanotechnology.
Biomedical Imaging focuses on developing technology and applications for life science research and advanced medical imaging systems. This thrust area includes the fundamentals of biomedical imaging instrumentation and systems analysis. We learn to analyze imaging systems with quantitative assessments of resolution, contrast, and noise. Specific technologies include optical microscopy, SPECT, PET, Scintigraphy, X-ray, ultrasound, CT, and MRI for both medical and life science research applications. Emerging biomedical trends, including targeted radiotherapy, smart contrast agents, and targeted molecular and cellular imaging are also introduced. This concentration area is designed to prepare students for the thriving biomedical imaging industry, medical school, or graduate studies in diverse areas of biomedical research.
The Computational Bioengineering concentration focuses on the application of computational techniques to problems in molecular biology, genomics, biophysics, and synthetic biology. The course of study covers preparation in component disciplines of computational science, programming, biology, mathematics, physical science and statistics, as well as applications to foundational areas including molecular biophysics, molecular evolution, molecular and cellular design, functional genomics, statistical genetics, and systems biology.
Synthetic biology aims to design and build novel biological functions and systems by applying engineering design principles to biology. From advanced therapeutics to biofuels to new materials, the applications of synthetic biology are diverse. Synthetic biology broadly seeks to develop new technologies and engineering principles that will allow us to construct better-performing genetic systems quickly, cheaply, reliably, and safely. A student in synthetic biology must possess a broad set of skills include qualitative and quantitative knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology, laboratory skills in biotechnology, and engineering concepts that span the range from chemical engineering to computer science. Graduates with a concentration in synthetic biology are prepared to work broadly in the field of biotechnology, and specifically in research, pharma, and energy applications.